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Steam Turbine Over Speed Trip Systems

Steam Turbine Over Speed Trip Systems

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07/03/2013

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Steam Turbine Over speed Trip Systems
by Boyd DavisABSTRACT:
Numerous failures and near failures of rotating equipment throughout history can be attributed to themalfunctions of overspeed protective devices. This can be due to lack of preventative maintenanceor operators not having a clear understanding of the devices.There is a need for everyone associated with rotating equipment to have a working knowledge of theoverspeed protective device we know and have today.In this presentation, the various overspeed trip devices and their operation will be discussed so thatwe all may have a better understanding of their purpose.
INTRODUCTION:
In addition to operating speed governors, steam turbines are fitted with a shutdown system. Withoutproper control and adequate overspeed protection, catastrophic machinery failures can and do occur.The principal problems lie in the trip throttle valves; however, the entire system must be consideredbefore any great improvement can be achieved.
HOW THE SYSTEMS WORK:
The governor and overspeed systems vary from machine to machine and may be mechanical,hydraulic, electrical, pneumatic or combinations. Governor control systems consist of three basicelements. These elements are sensing, transmitting and correcting. Sensing elements may includefly ball weights, electric generator, and positive displacement pumps. Transmitting elements may bemechanical linkage, hydraulic or pneumatic pressure, electrical signals or, as is most common, acombination. Sometimes an amplifying device such as a pilot, converter, or servomotor is necessaryto boost the signal to a point where it can do useful work. The correcting element of the governor system is the valve or valves that control the flow of steam to the turbine. The valve for generalpurpose turbines is usually a single, double seated design, characterized by relatively high flows withlow lift and low unbalance forces.The desirable characteristics of a governor system are:1.Respond promptly to a small change in speed.
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2.Adjust the throttle valve with a minimum of overshoot.3.Have sufficient power to overcome friction losses and unbalance forces in thethrottle valve.4.Permit very little speed fluctuation under constant load and steam conditions.There are several basic types of governors utilizing the above principles:1.Mechanical shaft - The familiar fly weight type. A hand adjustment permits speedregulation at the machine.2.Direct acting orifice - This consists of a shaft driven positive displacement type oilpump which delivers pressure to a spring diaphragm connected to the governor valve stem. Since the delivered oil pressure is directly proportional to shaftspeed, control is accomplished. Hand or automatic speed regulation is possible.3.Oil relay - Built to utilize lube oil pressure or a separate governor oil pressure, adouble acting oil relay piston permits more precise control of the governor valve.It is integral to the turbine and usually designed by the turbine manufacturer.4.Precision oil relay - A separate shaft-driven oil relay offers more precise control.Utilizing its own oil system, this type governor is not made by the turbinemanufacturer. If more governor valve operating force is needed, a second doubleacting servo-motor may be utilized.5.The electronic governor usually provides more precise and reliable speedcontrol. The speed measurement signal can be generated in two ways. Onemethod is by utilizing a magnetic pickup in proximity to a toothed wheel/gear mounted on the turbine shaft. Another method is to utilize a shaft-mountedpermanent magnet generator where the poles rotate and produce an electronicpulse measured by a microprocessor. In the first case, only two pairs of wiresconnect to the unit. One supplies 48 VDC that is the required
operating voltage;the other connects to a magnetic pickup on the turbine shaft. In the second case, noexternal power is required, as the unit is powered from the turbine shaft rotation. In thefirst case, output air (normally 3-15 lbs.) goes to the diaphragm of a standard controlvalve in the inlet steam line to the turbine. In the second case, hydraulic pressure drives a pre-piloted servo-motor that operates the governor valve.
Three internal adjustments are provided to set the operating speed and the gain and reset responseof the unit. Electronically, the device is straightforward, consisting of a frequency to voltage converter providing the speed measurement that is compared to the internal speed set control. The difference isapplied to the controller section where it will move the steam valve to hold the speed as desired.
OVERSPEED TRIP SYSTEMS:
In addition to a speed control system, steam and gas turbines are fitted with a shutdown system toprevent damage to the machine. In the event the speed governor fails to control the speed, theoverspeed trip actuates to shut down the machine. When shaft speed exceeds a desired safe level,
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generally 10% overspeed, a latching device or oil dump mechanism is actuated to close a specialemergency stop valve. This system is totally independent of the governor There are two primary types of trip actuation systems, the mechanical type and electronic type.Figure No.1 shows a mechanical system that is completely separate from the speed governingsystems. A trip pin or plunger is mounted in the turbine shaft with its center of gravity slightly off center. In the event the speed regulating governor fails to control the speed, the unbalanced plunger overcomes a spring force at a preset trip speed. As it moves outward, it strikes the trip-lever, causingrelease of a spring dump valve that releases the trip circuit oil pressure. This unbalances a piston-spring combination and causes the trip and throttle valve to slam shut by the force of a spring and thesteam pressure above the valve disk. A few high-speed machines use a weighted disk and a dishedwasher to accomplish the tripping action. The remainder of the action is identical.In the electronic trip, speed is sensed similar to the system described in the governor section. Whenoverspeed reaches the set point, an action is initiated to shut the emergency stop valve. This action isusually through an electric solenoid or mechanical valve that dumps the hydraulic oil on a trip throttlevalve (large turbines) or releases a mechanical link to the emergency stop valve (small turbines).In addition to overspeed, a solenoid valve can be made to shut down the turbine in response to lowoil pressure, remote push buttons, or abnormal process conditions.
BASIC TRIP-THROTTLE VALVE DESIGNS:
The design concept of the standard trip throttle valve is basically that of a globe valve with a stem nutthat is mounted in a frame or bracket that is free to move. There are four design variations: twoconcerning the direction of the closing action, and two involving the method of holding the movablestem nut in its operating position.
Direction of Closing Action:
The basic designs of the trip throttle valve with respect to direction of travel can be placed in twocategories: (a) those where the valve plug is pushed onto the seat by the closing force, and (b)those where the valve plug is pulled onto a seat by the closing force. Because of the dual functionsrequired of the valve - the tripping action and the throttling action - the stem must be in two pieces inboth designs. The stem of the steam shutoff part of the valve does not rotate; it only slides to fulfillthe tripping action needed. The actuator assembly stem has rotary motion so that it can be positionedwithin the spring-loaded, hydraulically positioned stem nut to permit throttling. Therefore, there mustbe a change of direction and rotation within the split coupling. A hardened steel button, commonlycalled a thrust bearing, separates the ends of the two stems. Maintenance of alignment between thetwo stems is difficult.
Disk Is
PUSHED
onto Seat Design:
In the larger valve sizes, the closing force on the valve stems and split coupling is not adequatelydesigned to accommodate the impact load generated by this high closing force and anymisalignment. This closing force must function in less than one-half second upon turbine overspeed,
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